Violations by a Miami doctor led to a Brazilian butt lift death, state complaint says

The form of liposuction known as a Brazilian butt lift involves moving fat into the buttocks area, but a state complaint says a Miami Lakes doctor injected fat into the gluteal muscle, leading to the death of a patient.

Dr. Ernesto Torres is one of two staff surgeons on the website of Miami Lakes Plastic Surgery, 15450 New Barn Rd., where the fatal surgery occurred. While this is the first Florida Department of Health administrative complaint filed against the license Torres has held since 2012, a still-pending 2022 administrative complaint accused Miami Lakes Plastic Surgery of several violations including removing too much fat during liposuction.

READ MORE: Unqualified staff, illegal surgeries at a Miami Lakes plastic surgery office?

Neither Torres nor Miami Lakes Plastic Surgery responded to emails asking for comment.

The complaint starts the discipline process, which can sometimes take years.

READ MORE: The unqualified anesthesiologist in a BBL death lost her license. The surgeon hasn’t

Fat injection

A 32-year-old woman came into Miami Lakes Plastic Surgery on May 26, 2023 for a Brazilian butt lift or BBL, defined as “liposuction of the waist and back with fat grafting to the bilateral buttocks.”

Inside Miami Lakes Plastic Surgery, 15450 New Barn Rd.
Inside Miami Lakes Plastic Surgery, 15450 New Barn Rd.

But, during the part where the fat gets transferred to the buttocks, the complaint says Torres injected the fat into the gluteus muscles of the buttocks. That’s a violation of Florida Administrative Code.

The woman’s heart began beating rapidly, her blood pressure began dropping and 911 was called as staff began to administer CPR.

The woman died that day.

An autopsy done two years later “identified that the cause of death as bilateral pulmonary fat emboli,” the complaint said. “There was fat graft deposited within the bilateral gluteus maximus muscles, bilateral gluteus medius muscle, fat graft deposited adjacent to the bilateral sciatic nerves which, ultimately, resulted in bilateral pulmonary fat emboli.”